Reading Time: 5 minutes

Just a monthly reminder that I have my new fiction book out, a book that combines the horror and philosophy genres. It investigates, by weaving the ideas through the narrative, those big questions.

It’s a case of The Walking Dead meets sleepy Devon, with a range of different characters to suit. Survival of the Fittest: Metamorphosis is out now in paperback, but if e-reading’s your thing, then grab yourselves a copy on Kindle, Kobo and Nook formats.

The description follows:

No one seems to know where it started. Or exactly when. And certainly not how. But it is here, and everything that everyone holds dear falls prey to the ravages of the virus. Some are unaffected, and they must quickly come to terms with their new world – a dystopian Britain in the early convulsions of collapse.

Follow a disparate collection of people as they fight for their lives in this first installment of Survival of the Fittest.

Where the journey will take them is anyone’s guess.

“A frightening and credible zombie apocalypse. This is the way the world would end―not with a bang or a whimper, but with a snarl and the gnashing of teeth…” Rebecca Bradley, author of Cadon, Hunter and From Hades With Love

“Pearce’s rollicking suburban adventure begs to be consumed and it won’t let go until life is sucked from the final pages.” Glenn Andrew Barr, author of Skin of Them

“Johnny P. has written a shockingly good zombie story with a literary quality unfamiliar to the genre. Don’t let the slow build fool you―the growing tension plays a vital role in allowing everything to snap with a most satisfying sort of frayed devastation. Once all hell breaks loose it’s a no holds barred gore fest!” Tristan Vick, author of BITTEN: Resurrection and BITTEN 2: Land of the Rising Dead

With some other reviews here:

Having read some of Pearce’s non-fiction work (which is exceedingly well done), I was unsure how he would make the transition to fiction, as they are very different kinds of writing. I needn’t have worried, though, as “Metamorphosis” was a great read that kept me page turning to see what awaited the characters around the next corner. Turns out, plenty.

In the vein of Kirkman’s “The Walking Dead,” Pearce sets us up to care about the people undergoing this horrible event, not sacrificing character development for cheap horror. I’m greatly looking forward to the follow-up!

And another:

Johno Pearce is a philosopher, who has written many books and lectures on philosophical, sceptical themes. As far as I know this is his first work of fiction. So why choose zombies?

I guess because it enables him to explore how ordinary people react to extraordinary circumstances, and thus to better explore their humanity. He takes a large variety of unrelated people, from a wide variety of backgrounds and lets us get to know them as people in a normal context before in each case seeing how they deal with what for some is a gradual unfolding of the crisis, for others, who for one reason or another have been insulated from its early stages, is a more sudden overturning of their worlds.

It is brilliantly done and leaves the reader looking forward to what I hope will be not too long a wait for the next volume in what could be a classic saga. Thoroughly recommended.


I don’t want to hand out spoilers about the plot, but some similarities with the world we are living now make the story much more plausible than one could think of, in a fiction book.

It’s autumn time here in Brazil, but it still feels like the summer still didn’t end in 2016: an early than predicted threat of a dangerous and deadly flu virus (H1N1 with already several deaths in the State I live), beyond the threat of the now (in)famous Zika virus spreading through the world. It could be now, in dozens , hundreds, thousands of years.. .Who knows?…We are always waiting the possibility of a deadly mutation or a new virus that could be much more devastating than the spanish flu, the plague or Justin Bieber. Change “virus” to an asteroid or another natural or man made cataclysm. Probability says that it’s certain to happen.

The book deals with what would happen to different people in one of these scenarios. How people, now comfortable and fully dependent on technology, will deal with a fast change in their lives, taken abruptly of their comfort zone, as if in a snap of fingers the entire species were moving fastly to a probable extinction. Not to far from what already happened to more than 99% of the species that once inhabited the planet.


Johnny’s background in Philosophy can be “felt” in the pages. There’s material for philosophy discussions all over the book, from morals,moral relativism, free-will, the problem of evil, euthanasia, philosophical zombies, conscience and how to deal when/if one grasps the undeniable fact that humans are just chemical robots , just a bit fancier than other primates in terms of brain functions and the arising of conscience compared to “lower” animals. But fortunately for all audiences, Johny does not push any conclusions to the reader (as I already did in this paragraph), but just serves enough good thought material.

For the reader avid for an excellent material in the subject of free-will, I recommend the SUPERB book from Johno MS Pearce, called: Free Will?: An investigation into whether we have free will, or whether I was always going to write this book

And yes, the similarity of the author’s name is not coincidence.

And finally:

Johnny Pearce has done a first class job of describing a rapid descent into anarchy without resorting to hyperbole. The story is the zombie apocalypse as it would happen to you or me; scary, brutal and gripping.

The intertwining of different characters and their story arcs was particularly ingenious; some characters join forces, while some… well, some don’t!

Not everyone is likeable, and as in life, coincidence and luck plays a far bigger part in survival than any cosmic justice. It’s not that nice guys finish last, but when treating your neighbour as you would want them to treat you can lead to your neighbour attempting to chew off your face, you may need to adjust your moral compass.
Of course, given Johnny’s expertise as a philosopher, several important ethical issues are dealt with admirably: the nuances of personhood, euthanasia, rights and responsibilities.

If you enjoyed Shaun of the Dead and wished they would make some more rational decisions on The Walking Dead then this is the book for you!

The book left me yearning for more. I am very much looking forward to the sequel.

The hope is to give a gripping story of dystopian societal deconstruction with a healthy dollop of philosophy. Something for all the family. The Walking Dead has certainly captured imaginations. My effort looks at the same sorts of things, philosophically speaking, but gives themMetamorphosis a nice British feel.

Anyway, please help by grabbing yourself a copy and let me know what you think. Unless you hate it, in which case keep it to yourself…

Avatar photo

Jonathan MS Pearce

A TIPPLING PHILOSOPHER Jonathan MS Pearce is a philosopher, author, columnist, and public speaker with an interest in writing about almost anything, from skepticism to science, politics, and morality,...